News:Union Cabinet has approved a new process of strategic disinvestment with a view to expediting privatization of select PSUs.
What are the new changes?
- Under the new policy, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) under the Ministry of Finance has been made the nodal department for the strategic disinvestment sale.
- Currently, PSUs for strategic sale are identified by NITI Aayog.But the new policy has now allowed DIPAM and NITI Aayog to jointly identify PSUs for strategic disinvestment.
- Further, the DIPAM secretary would now co-chair the inter-ministerial group on disinvestment along with the secretary of administrative ministries concerned.
What is disinvestment?
- Disinvestment is defined as the action of an organisation or government selling or liquidating an asset or subsidiary.It is also referred to as divestment.
- In the case of Public Sector Undertakings(PSU), disinvestment means Government selling/ diluting its stake (share) in PSUs in which it has a majority holding.
- Disinvestment is carried out as a budgetary exercise under which the government announces yearly targets for disinvestment for selected PSUs.
- Government has set the disinvestment target of 1.05 lakh crore for the current financial year 2019-20.
Significance of disinvestment:
- It improves the structure of incentives and accountability of PSUs in India.
- It can help in the revival of loss-making public sector enterprises(PSU).
- It can help in financing the increasing fiscal deficit.
- It can also finance the large-scale infrastructure development, defense, education and healthcare projects.
Concerns on disinvestment:
- The process of disinvestment is not favoured socially as it is against the interest of socially disadvantageous people.
- After disinvestment, the employees of Public Sector Units(PSUs) will lose their jobs.
- Government’s dividend income will also decline as it will have less shares in the PSUs.